Eddie Johnson’s absence from the team stole the headlines, especially after the important role he played in World Cup qualifying. Tim Ream was also a bit of a surprise after a season that saw him be named Bolton Player of the Year.
Among the picks that surprised people, DeAndre Yedlin stood out the most. The 20-year-old fullback had been struggling for his club team in recent weeks, and Klinsmann passed on a chance to start him against Mexico when given the chance in April. That didn’t stop Klinsmann from bringing in the speedy youngster.
Timmy Chandler’s inclusion might have surprised some people, but it really shouldn’t have. The Bundesliga-based player has a good chance of making the final 23-man roster if he shows good form in the U.S. national team training camp, which kicks off on Wednesday.
There were a wide variety of snubs, including a trio of 2010 World Cup veterans in Oguchi Onyewu, Jose Torres and Benny Feilhaber, but the absence of those three weren’t close to being among the most surprising.
Here is a closer look at the four biggest snubs, and why they failed to make the cut:
Poor form for his club team, coupled with impressive seasons from Terrence Boyd and Aron Johannsson, as well as the continued production of Chris Wondolowski, put Johnson’s once-solid spot in jeopardy. The 2006 World Cup veteran also turned some heads with some recent comments that were seen as critical of his club teammates, and while Klinsmann insisted that those comments played no part, you have to wonder if maybe they did.
The 21-year-old striker took a loan move to FC Utrecht with the hope that it would impress Klinsmann enough to earn a place on the World Cup team. After three goals and three assists in 14 matches, Agudelo didn’t do enough to beat out forwards like Wondolowski and Boyd, and he also fell short in trying to impress the UK work permit appeal board, which denied his application for a work permit in England. That voided his contract with Stoke City, leaving him a free agent heading into the summer. He will now have more time to explore club options after missing the World Cup cut.
The versatile left-footed defender seemed an ideal squad pick for Klinsmann, especially after a very strong season in the English League Championship, but Klinsmann decided he had his most likely center back options filled. Ream’s versatility and technical quality would have come in handy, but with players like John Brooks and Timmy Chandler filling some of the positions Ream can play, it made Ream a bit less of a necessary option.
A player who missed out most likely due to a poorly-timed injury, Orozco had been a regular starter for Mexican side Puebla for a full year, but a recent hamstring injury sidelined him for the final matches of the Clausura campaign, an injury which came just as John Brooks was turning it on with German club Hertha Berlin.